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03rd Feb 2016

Your risk of the Zika virus is higher if you’ve visited any of these 23 countries recently

'Global health emergency'


The World Health Organisation is seriously worried about the spread of the Zika virus.

The WHO have already called the virus a ‘global health emergency’ after an outbreak in Brazil has now begun spreading to more than 20 other countries.

Two cases of the disease, which is being linked to birth defects, have already been reported in Ireland after patients visited Zika-affected countries.

Health officials now fear that the virus can be sexually transmitted after a confirmed case in the US where a patient contracted Zika after a sexual partner returned from Venezuela. Anyone who has visited these countries must be careful and wear a condom during sex.

The disease, which is carried by mosquitoes, is being investigated as the cause of an unprecedented number of cases of microcephaly in Brazilian babies.

Microcephaly is a condition wherein babies are born with smaller, damaged brains. Life expectancy for children with the condition is reduced, and the prospects of attaining normal brain function are poor.

These are the places that have been badly affected by Zika:

  • American Samoa
  • Barbados
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Cape Verde
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Curacao
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • French Guiana
  • Guadaloupe
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Martinique
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saint Martin
  • Samoa
  • Suriname
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Venezuela